• December 28th, 2012
  • Posted by Baseem Wahab

5 Tips for Healthy Eyes

Healthy eyes and healthy vision are both essential to your quality of life. Without them, we could literally be left in the dark, which is why it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep them healthy. Here are five of my favorite tips.

You are what you eat

We’ve all heard the phrase before, but it’s one of those cliches that’s very, very true. If we eat a lot of junk food, we tend to feel like … well, junk. The same applies to how food can affect your eyes. I’ve discussed healthy eating tips in a past post, but it’s worth reiterating. Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like eggs and fish, is a great way to start. But it’s also important to eat a lot of leafy greens as well as fruits and vegetables.  The better and healthier your diet, the healthier your eyes will be.

Quit smoking

Kicking the habit is one of the best ways to improve your eye’s health. Smoking can increase the risk of cataracts, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration. Quitting smoking is a hard thing to do. If you can’t do it on your own, don’t worry, there are support groups and medication to help you get through the quitting process. The faster you quit, the sooner you stop damaging your eyes.

Keep your sunglasses handy

One of the most common mistakes people make is only wearing their sunglasses when it’s bright and sunny out. I recommend that you wear them during most daylight hours, unless it’s very cloudy. A lot more sun makes it through the clouds than you might think.

It’s also important that you choose to wear a good pair of sunglasses. Sure, your “Terminator” shades might look cool, but unless they’re protecting you against both UVA and UVB rays, they’re not doing much else.

Don’t stare at your computer too long

Anyone who works in an office can tell you that staring at a computer screen for too long leads to eyestrain, which isn’t fun. It can result in fatigue and cause your eyes to work harder than they should. The 20-20-20 method is one of the best way to combat eyestrain while at the office. This is when after 20 minutes of working at the computer, you stare at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This short exercise acts similar to a computer’s reset button. It allows your eyes to refocus and take a short break, making it easier for them to do their job.

Visit your eye doctor

The most important thing you can to do improve the health of your eyes is make annual appointments with your eye doctor.  Eye exams are the only way to identify if someone is suffering some certain eye-specific conditions. It’s also a great way to make sure if you already wear corrective lenses, that they are the right prescription. But in between your appointments, make sure to eat well and remember not to stare at your computer for too long.

  • October 23rd, 2012
  • Posted by Baseem Wahab

It Takes More than Carrots to Improve Your Eyes’ Health

Improving your won’t just help you lower your cholesterol, blood pressure or risk for heart disease. It can also be an important tool to improve the overall health of your eyes.

We’ve all heard it a million times: “Just eat your carrots, so-and-so, they’re good for your eyes.” While eating carrots is definitely good for your eyes and your vision, it’s going to take more than just carrots to not only help make your eyes healthier, but the rest of your body, too.

By eating food high in omega-3 fatty acids, you’re giving your eyes an added advantage when it comes to repelling the sun’s potentially harmful ultraviolet rays. These fatty acids are especially beneficial to your eye’s macula, which acts as the eyes’ natural sunscreen. Omega-3s cannot be synthesized by the human body, which is why they should be an essential part of your everyday diet. Foods like fish and eggs have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and though it’s not crucial that you eat them every day, you should make sure they are a part of your regular meal plan.

It would also behoove you to include lots of leafy greens in your diet. These often contain a pigment found in zeazanthin and lutein that has shown to improve the overall health of your eyes. Including antioxidant-rich foods like peppers, tomatoes, other fruits, and even carrots in your diet is another great way to keep your eyes in tip-top shape.

Taking extra vitamins and minerals is a great way to supplement your (hopefully) already healthy diet. While the human body can produce a lot of vitamins or minerals itself, it can’t do all the work, which is why vitamin supplements are a good, easy way to keep tabs on your health. Adding these to your diet will work wonders for not only your vision, but the rest of your body as well.

Also, don’t forget to wear your sunglasses and exercise regularly. The eyes are very similar to the skin, if they aren’t protected from UV rays, they can get damaged. Remember to be smart out there, everyone. If you have questions about how to protect your eyes, don’t hesitate to contact me online or at my office by calling (313) 278-SEEN.

  • September 12th, 2012
  • Posted by Baseem Wahab

Smartphones Can Lead to Eye Fatigue & Eyestrain

How many of you have a smartphone in your pocket right now? Yeah, I do too. Smartphones have become ubiquitous in our society and nary an hour passes before we’re checking our text messages,  FacebookTwitter or emails. But did you know that like working at a computer all day, your smartphone can cause eye fatigue and eyestrain?

According to a 2011 study in the journal Optometry and Vision Science, people hold their smartphones two inches closer to their eyes than they do a book, newspaper or magazine. It’s this distance (or lack thereof) from the eyes that can have similar effects as computer screens or televisions do. By holding your device too close to your eyes, you’re actually increasing your chances of having eye or vision-related problems down the road. Some of the most common side effects of being too close to your smartphone’s screen are as follows:

  • Eyestrain or fatigue
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches

Out of all of these symptoms, eyestrain is the most common. Eyestrain is when the muscles in your eyes become strained and physically become tired. When this happens, your eyes try to overcompensate, which can lead to more fatigue and eventually, headaches. But don’t worry, there are ways to help prevent and treat these symptoms.

The first thing I recommend you do is make a conscious effort to blink when you’re reading something on your smartphone. You’d be surprised how much of a difference blinking can make. It will help keep your eyes fresh, focused and lubricated.

I also suggest to heed the advice of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and follow the 20-20-20 rule. This means that every 20 minutes of looking at your smartphone (or computer screen), you should look up and stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This, like blinking, will help keep your eyes focused. It also is extremely beneficial in the prevention of eye fatigue. And while it may be a challenge to get into the habit of doing this, it’s worth it. Setting an alarm on your phone is a great way to remind yourself.

And finally, if your eyes are still fatigued, dry, etc. no matter how many preventative measures you’re taking, you might want to consider contacting your eye doctor to determine if there are underlying issues. If you have questions for me, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below!


  • August 27th, 2012
  • Posted by Baseem Wahab

Eye Care Tips for Diabetes Patients

Nearly 26 million people in the United States have diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association. That’s around 8.3 percent of the entire American population, and what some people don’t realize is that diabetes can affect patients’ vision. And because diabetes can affect one’s eyes, it’s important to take the proper steps to protect them.

Regular visits to the eye doctor

The single most important thing you can do as a diabetic is to schedule regular appointments with your optometrist to ensure that your eyes are healthy. If by chance there are problems with your eyes, you and your doctor will catch them early and they will be treated quickly and effectively.

Watch your blood sugar

As any diabetes patient can tell you, maintaining a healthy level of glucose is essential. By maintaining proper blood sugar levels, you’re not only keeping your eyes healthy, but the rest of your body healthy as well.

Keep your blood pressure in check

High blood pressure can cause eye problems on its own, so don’t add any fuel to your diabetic fire with unhealthy blood pressure. This is why it’s absolutely crucial that you’re taking the appropriate steps to ensure your blood pressure is at a healthy level. One of the best ways to manage your blood pressure is by eating a healthy diet.

You are what you eat

We’ve all heard the phrase before, but it’s definitely true. Maintaining a healthy diet is just as important for the health of your eyes as it is for the rest of your body; especially if you’re a diabetes patient. Foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids, lycopene and Vitamin A are recommended.

While these aren’t the only eye care tips for diabetics, they are a good place to start. And remember, you should contact your local eye doctor if you experience blurred vision, black spots, partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes or flashes of light.

  • August 13th, 2012
  • Posted by Baseem Wahab

How to Reduce Eyestrain at the Office

It may be summer, but that doesn’t mean all of us get to enjoy the endless splendors of sunny and warm days. Unfortunately, many people have to sit inside and stare at a computer screen for eight hours a day. And that isn’t always the best thing for your eyes.

Prolonged exposure to computer screens can lead to eyestrain which affects more than just your eyes. Learning how to avoid or combat eyestrain while at a computer is essential to keeping your eyes in first-rate condition. It’s first important to know what eyestrain is exactly. Eyestrain usually occurs when the eyes are overworked during an extended period of time. It also comes with a litany of symptoms, including:

  • Redness or dryness of the eyes
  • Headache
  • Eye pain or tension (can often travel to the temples or neck)
  • Fatigue
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light

Luckily, though, most of these symptoms can be alleviated by making simple changes in your daily work life. You can dramatically decrease eyestrain by taking breaks throughout the day. It’s recommended that you get up from your desk about once an hour to give your eyes a brief rest from the screen. And while it may seem that taking short breaks will reduce your productivity, the opposite may be true because if you’re feeling better, you’re likely to work better.

In line with taking short breaks from time to time, you should consider how your computer screen is positioned at your desk. Ideally, you should be sitting straight in your chair with your monitor (or monitors) slightly below eye level. This will not only help with decreasing eyestrain, but will help you develop better posture as well.

And last but not least, I suggest that you get your eyes checked. If you’re already someone who wears corrective lenses, you might need an upgraded prescription and if you don’t wear glasses, you might need to start. If you have any questions about how to keep eyestrain at a minimum at work, please don’t hesitate to call me at (313)278-SEEN or contact me online today!

  • August 6th, 2012
  • Posted by Baseem Wahab

Simple Eye Problems Can Cause Headaches

There are few things as frustrating and painful as a bad headache. Not only do they cause obvious discomfort, but if left untreated they can actually impede how people live their daily lives.

Some of the most common causes of headaches are actually related to your eyes. More often than not, when a headache is eye-related, it’s the result the eye being overworked. This eyestrain can be caused by squinting in an attempt to see better or even just staring a computer screen all day. But there’s more to eyestrain than just focusing too hard. Both the lens and your cornea work in tandem to help focus images on the eye’s retina, and sometimes this mechanism gets thrown off, which forces certain muscles to work harder than they should. In essence, this is the direct cause of eyestrain. Fear not, however, prescription glasses or contact lenses can help not only correct your vision issues, but eliminate those pesky headaches.

Other than standard eyestrain, there are three other primary reasons for eye-related headaches: Astigmatism, Hyperopia and Presbyopia. Astigmatism is when a person’s cornea is not a regular shape, which can cause objects to appear blurry at certain angles. And though it isn’t a serious issue, it can be meddlesome. This, along with Hyperopia (farsightedness), can be fixed with prescription glasses. Presbyopia is another common eye condition that often causes headaches. This is when the eye’s lens gets harder and less flexible over time making it much harder to quickly change focus from one object to another. It also can make it harder to focus on items closer to the eye.

It’s important to remember that if you are suffering headaches on a regular basis, that a simple eye exam and corrective lenses might be all it takes to lessen your headaches. For more information about what other eye conditions could cause headaches, please read “Headache and eye problems” by the Better Health Channel.

  • July 26th, 2012
  • Posted by Baseem Wahab

Simple Eye Test Can Identify Concussion

There are few injuries that are as scary as a concussion. Not only is it often referred to as “invisible,” but it affects everyone differently. And even though no two people react the same way to concussions, there is now a simple vision test that might be able to help doctors better identify if someone has been concussed.

Dr. Laura Becler, co-author of a 2011 study about concussions, said that 50 percent of the brain’s pathways are devoted to vision, which is why this test is so important. She said, “By doing this test, we can potentially catch a lot of what’s going on with overall cognitive function and how impaired an athlete can be following a concussion.”

When someone suffers a head injury, especially a concussion, the pathways in the brain are often disrupted and this test, called the “King-Devick” test, is used to identify those disruptions. According to CNN, the test “is based on subtle, constant vibration in the eyes, called saccadic movements, which allow them to focus on specific spots. A problem with the eyes’ ability to track and focus suggests impairment involving brain pathways.”

But what makes this test unique from other concussion tests is that it’s completely objective and not subject to different interpretations by the examiner. The study has proven to be near-perfect as a gauge as to whether or not someone has suffered a concussion and is now being used by several professional sports leagues as a way to identify concussions.

Please take the time to read more about the Kings-Devick test and how it’s revolutionizing the identification of concussions here. 

  • July 10th, 2012
  • Posted by Baseem Wahab

How to Keep Your Aging Eyes Healthy

As with many parts of our body, our eyes become less keen as we age. Our vision not only weakens over time, but our risk of eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts also rises. And while it’s nearly impossible to stop the weakening of our eyesight as we get older, it can be slowed down by taking the proper steps.

The most important thing you can do for your eyes, regardless of whether or not you currently wear corrective lenses, is to schedule regular eye exams. These exams become increasingly important as you get older, and once you hit 40 years old, annual eye exams are a necessity. Not only will these exams keep you up-to-date on where your eyes are health-wise, but also help identify any health problems not already diagnosed.

I know this has been said a thousand times by a thousand optometrists, but the importance of wearing sunglasses cannot be understated. If you’re wearing proper sunglasses, they act as your eyes’ first defense against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, protecting them from potential damage. To further supplement the protection given by your sunglasses, wearing a wide-brimmed hat can do wonders for not only your eyes, but skin as well.

For more tips to keep your aging eyes healthy, please read Everyday Health’s article.